Refurb & Developer Update - April 2020

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CONTENTS 22 Refurb & Developer Update - April 2020



Industry News


Editor’s Choice


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04 Industry News

£250m film studio plan for Kent Urban regeneration specialist The Creative District Improvement Company (TCDI Co.) is teaming up with developer Quinn Estates to announce a £250m investment in a Kent TV and film studio.

The project will restore five at-risk Grade II listed-buildings in Ashford and convert them into 80,000 sq ft of TV and film studios, 80,000 sq ft of ancillary production space, 50,000 sq ft of mill store and 30,000 sq ft of media village.

Plans also include the Future Media Centre educational hub, a 120-room hotel, 68 serviced apartments, a creative industries conference centre and a 10,000 sq ft gym, restaurant and leisure space.

TCDI Co. and Quinn Estate are collaborating with architects Guy Holloway to deliver the project scheduled for 2021. Piers Read and Jeremy Rainbird, Founders of The Creative District Improvement Co. said: “It is a dream come true to regenerate an area that we have a close personal connection to and to provide such exciting employment opportunities. “As we emerge from COVID-19 there will continue to be unprecedented demands for stage space and a demand for skilled workers which will continue to grow. “With A.I. constantly encroaching into the UK employment sector, the creative industry is one of the only industries that robustly defends itself from mass unemployment. “British TV and film making is the best in the world thanks to facilities like Ashford International Studios. This is set to remain the case for decades to come”. TCDI Co. has previously announced plans to extend the current success of Twickenham Studios in a £50m development that will include film stages, flexible workspace for creative industries with new event and hospitality space.

Industry News 05

SureStore Progresses UK Expansion with Project UK storage group SureStore is moving forward with plans to expand its business across the nation. A contract has been agreed which will see a new £4 million storage facility built for the company in Wigan. Triton Construction has signed on for the project, which involves the development of a new 50,000 sq ft building on a vacant site on Pitt Street in the town centre. The contractor will begin work on site next month with clearance of the existing foundations for the former building occupied by furniture maker, Latham Jenkins. Construction will be carried out on the four-storey facility over a phased period due to tight restrictions around that site that is circled by the Pitt Street one-way road system. Paul Clarkson, Managing Director at Triton Construction said: “We are pleased to secure our first contract

with SureStore as it progresses its expansion in the UK. Our credentials in building storage and warehouse facilities that stand out from the ordinary are strong and we are hoping to secure more projects with SureStore with three further projects pending in the North.” Mike Wilson, Managing Director at SureStore added: “We were already familiar with Triton Construction due to its good working relationship with our architect C4 Projects and we are also aware of its good credentials in constructing striking buildings for operators in the self-storage industry. In particular Triton has shown great flexibility, allowing us to have early access for fit out during the build

programme, and thus speeding up the process for us to become operational. We hope to be able to work with Triton on more of our pipeline projects.” SureStore has major plans to expand further across the UK and expects to be managing over 20 stores in the next 18 months.

CASTLEHOUSE HANDS OVER NEW BUILD LIDL IN YORK 20,000 Sq Ft Supermarket Constructed On Behalf Of S Harrison Developments Leeds-based Castlehouse Construction has handed over a new build Lidl on James Street in York. The supermarket has been built on behalf of Yorkshire property and development company, S Harrison Developments, which has transformed the 2.36 acre disused site into a 20,000 sq ft Lidl, creating circa 40 new jobs for the local area.

The new Lidl, which backs onto Foss Island Retail Park, forms part of the retailer’s target to open 1000 stores in the UK by the end of 2023. It boasts 130 parking spaces, including four bays with EV charging and is the second Lidl to open in York, the first being on Thanet Road.

work with S Harrison Developments to complete the York Lidl store which supports the retailer’s ongoing store expansion and regeneration programme in the UK. It’s rewarding to see a site that has languished for years changed for the better and to serve the local community.”

Phil Dewell, Construction Director, Castlehouse Construction commented: “We are delighted to

Andrew Wharton, Project Manager, S Harrison Developments said: “It is hugely positive news to see investment on this scale in this part of York on a site that has had many uses over the years, from waste disposal site and packaging factory to a storage facility for tv props. The two large industrial buildings had fallen into disrepair, so it was an exciting development to work on, which ultimately will support the economic sustainability of the local area and create jobs, as well as being a great place to shop.”

06 Industry News

Funding deal for Sheffield scheme despite global crisis

Student accommodation specialist Future Generation has refinanced a £39m development loan that will help fund construction of the third phase of a major Sheffield scheme. It comes at the end of a remarkable five days of dealmaking for the firm, which — despite turmoil in global markets due to coronavirus — saw it secure another £55m development loan to construct two other student schemes in Loughborough and Nottingham. The third phase of Steel City will create 19 short-let serviced apartments — in addition to the scheme’s existing 324 bedrooms — to be used by parents and friends visiting student tenants.

The concept is designed to make it much easier for students living away at university to maintain relationships with friends and family. The £35m scheme also boasts an interactive fitness studio plus Future Generation’s signature Sky Lounge — a rooftop social space where students can relax, interact and enjoy cityscape views. Construction of the third phase is expected to be completed by the spring of 2021 and a construction partner is yet to be chosen. Clegg Construction built the previous phases of the former steel workshops conversion in the St Vincent’s Quarter. Andrew Southern, chairman of Southern Grove and Future Generation, said: “The fact that these funding facilities are still coming together, even with Covid-19 wreaking havoc on industry and economies around the world, is testament to the long-term security of the student accommodation sector in the UK. “We are going to weather this storm and come out of it even stronger, with positive consequences for the incomes of those firms and workers who help us to make these developments a reality. “The completion of Steel City will also be an incredibly proud moment for me

personally. Sheffield is my home town and I still have plenty of family and friends there.” McAleer & Rushe has just started work on the Luxurio in Loughborough and The Vantage in Nottingham, which between them will create 943 student beds close to top-tier universities. The £45m Luxurio development in Loughborough will contain 458 bedrooms. London and Cardiff-based Rio Architects were appointed to design the mixed-use scheme which will include landscaped grounds, communal courtyards, roof terraces and green living walls on the outside of the building. The development at Aumberry Gap will range from three to seven storeys and contain 1,700 sq m of commercial and reception space. The £48m Vantage development in Traffic Street, Nottingham, will provide 485 bedrooms. Designed by Axis Architecture, it is arranged over 12 storeys and will be one of the city’s tallest buildings. The Vantage will boast Future Generation’s signature Sky Lounge which will make the most of views over Nottingham Castle.

Industry News 07

Kawneer systems help herald a gateway to a unique building Manufacturer’s aluminium glazing systems used again at Bournemouth University. Frequent Kawneer specifiers Atkins has used the manufacturer’s architectural aluminium glazing systems again, on a unique building which forms a new £27 million gateway to a leading UK university. Kawneer’s AA®100 zone-drained and capped curtain walling forms triangular screens some 25m wide and 15m high for the main atrium at Bournemouth University’s 5,000m2 Poole Gateway Building, while Kawneer’s thermallysuperior AA®720 entrance doors were used throughout the building and its AA®190 TB automatic sliding door was used at the campus side entrance lobby. In addition, Kawneer’s AA®541 fixed-light windows were used to create openings within both the rainscreen and masonry facades while thermally-broken AA®543 tilturn windows were used alongside aluminium spandrel panels as insertions to the curtain walling. Kirsty Pesticcio, senior architect at Atkins, said: “The glazed elements have a significant impact on the building and the Kawneer products interfaced really well with the masonry and rainscreen façade. “The triangulated gateway form was very complex in nature so we had to ensure fixings were angled with precision to tie into the structural members. Kawneer-approved installer Leay were engaged early within the design process to ensure the developing design met both our design concept and technical constraints of the products chosen.” The building was targeting a BREEAM “Excellent” score so upper BRE Green Guide ratings for material specification, aligned with budgets, was important. The Poole Gateway building is a state-of-the-art combined technical facility for the university’s faculties of Science and Technology and Media and Communication, the latter of which houses the UK’s only recognised Centre for Excellence in Media Practice. The two-year build by main contractor Willmott Dixon comprises a steel frame, SFS infill and composite concrete decked floors. Although the building is primarily divided by internal stud partitions, there are many technical studio spaces which

had to be designed and installed as a ‘room in room’ construction using timber frames. Specialist sub-contractor Leay had a team of up to six on site for three winter months. Leay’s business development manager Mike Watts said: “The main curtain wall screens are essentially large triangles. The transom locations were staggered in design in an attempt to prevent hard lines being established in the overall design. “The transoms were set out by us to keep glass specification the same thickness on the project and also to optimise the material on the project efficiently to keep wastage down and therefore cost. “The project was also designed to limit the amount of intermediate steelwork to make the atrium feel as open plan as possible as well as to dead load the full screen down onto the ground-floor slab. “We proposed the use of Kawneer products on this scheme from the outset as we knew they would represent the best value for money and also achieve the structural requirements of the scheme. Working alongside the architect from an early stage, we were able to quickly assist with mullion sizings to allow setting out to be established and avoid potential clashes at a very early stage.” Atkins’ brief was to deliver a new gateway building on the eastern edge of the university’s Talbot Campus which sits just inside the border between Bournemouth and Poole and would be predominantly used by students from the two faculties, providing a range of high-quality technical facilities to support undergraduate and

postgraduate courses as well as research. Kirsty Pesticcio said: “We believe the client is delighted with the overall design and how it meets the original brief of a gateway building to their campus.” NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and Art) said: “Almost half of all graduates from specialist VFX [visual effects] courses who gained employment in the industry had graduated from Bournemouth University”. Graduates have worked on Hollywood blockbusters such as Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, Gravity, Star Wars, Madagascar and Interstellar, which won an Oscar in 2015. The Poole Gateway building is one of three at Bournemouth University which feature Kawneer systems. They have also been used on a £40 million new home for the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. Again designed by Atkins, the Bournemouth Gateway Building features Kawneer’s AA®100 curtain walling with feature face caps on tall atrium screens along with AA®720 window vents and entrance doors and AA®190 TB doors. The Kawneer systems here were installed by fellow Kawneerapproved dealer Aluminium Sashes for main contractor Kier. The Bournemouth Gateway Building is due to open in September 2020. Kawneer systems were also used on the original £22 million BREEAM “Excellent” Fusion building which features Kawneer’s AA®100 zone-drained curtain walling, AA®541 top-hung casement windows, AA®545 low/medium duty swing doors and series 190 doors. These were installed by approved dealer AB Glass for Willmott Dixon to a BDP design.

P M a is g e si ng

ROOFTOP DEVELOPMENT UTILISED ON ENFIELD’S LYTCHET WAY ESTATE Enfield Council had a pressing need for additional homes for social rent, and with no suitable land available for development, they were inspired by the solution offered by Langley Structures Ltd. This was the innovative ‘Upwardly Living’ rooftop development concept, creating new additional dwellings above existing flat roof housing stock. Enfield Council were able to utilise the single source design and supply chain offered by Langley for rooftop extensions, flat to pitched conversions and flat roofing. The council’s Lytchet Way estate, which has a mix of three and four storey blocks, was selected and Langley undertook an in-depth feasibility study. This identified that three of these blocks were suitable for rooftop developments to create new homes on top of existing stock. The site is incredibly well positioned to support densification, having excellent transport links. Philip Pank Partnership were commissioned by the London Borough of Enfield to provide multi disciplinary services on the project, comprising Contract Administration/Employer’s Agent, Clerk of Works and Quantity Surveying. “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to provide these services to Enfield and to have gained invaluable experience in the procurement and delivery of the Rooftop Development concept,” commented Sophie Redding, Associate, Philip Pank Partnership. The rooftop developments, in this case comprising single-storey extensions with light weight pitched roofs, were installed by a Langley Approved Contractor who also carried out extensive flat-to-pitch roof refurbishments on the twelve remaining blocks on the estate. Enfield Council wanted to avoid decanting residents to temporary accommodation, as this would be a costly logistical operation as well as being disruptive to the community. These challenges were successfully overcome to ensure that the 25 new homes were considerately developed with residents in-situ throughout the entire project.

Enabling works included extending the existing stairwells and services to the new fourth floor level. Langley’s off-site prefabricated floor, wall and ceiling cassettes were lifted into position and assembled on site. They were inspected on a weekly basis by Langley Technical Managers and the contract administrators, to monitor and ensure the quality of workmanship. The lightweight, pitched framing system was covered with Langley Roman strip tiles and had sun tubes installed to utilise natural light within windowless kitchens. Photovoltaic (PV) panels were mounted at roof level to provide electricity for communal services. A robust fire protection strategy included internal works to extend fire breaks at all existing party walls within the roof void to the underside of the roof membrane level. New service risers for electricity and gas were constructed at each end elevation, then distributed via the new roof void to the new flats below.

“Rooftop development represented a cost-effective way of adding to our housing stock without the need to acquire new land, which is often in short supply.” - Project Manager at Enfield Council This project supports the Government housing objectives regarding the efficient use of space to deliver new homes by building up rather than building out, using the space above existing buildings to create new homes. Support for this approach was re-iterated by the Housing Secretary in February 2018. (source: Fixing Our Broken Housing Market White Paper, Department for Communities and Local Government).

To discover more information about Rooftop Developments, view Langley’s video case study. The video demonstrates the benefits of Rooftop Development for social housing landlords looking to develop their portfolio. It also showcases the award-winning Lytchet Way Estate, featuring time-lapse footage of the entire project. Visit: Or, to book a feasibility survey for your building estate, contact

10 Editor’s Choice

Schöck features in Yorkshire Post redevelopment story Regeneration across the whole of Leeds is resulting in a major transformation of the city. And one of the current developments is on the site of the previous headquarters of the Yorkshire Post.

Around eight years ago “Yorkshire’s National Newspaper” moved from its long-standing home to new headquarters a couple of miles across the city. The previous 4.6 acre site is now a landmark four-phase development; and the immediate first phase will see the construction of an 18-storey residential tower due for completion in early 2021. The building benefits from extensive river frontage along the River Aire and will provide high-quality one, two and three bedroom apartments, a gym and an eleventh floor sky lounge. The proposal includes shops, resident’s amenity areas and an enhanced river corridor. Around 242 apartments are anticipated in this first phase and the brick-clad concrete frame building will feature a high number of spacious balconies, also of concrete construction. Avoiding thermal bridging is critical Balconies are effectively large external thermal fins on buildings. If there is ineffective insulation in the detailng, there will be local heat loss, resulting in more energy being

required to maintain the internal temperature of the building. This is one major consequence of thermal bridging, but there are other issues too. Low internal surface temperatures in the area of the thermal bridge can cause condensation, leading not only to structural integrity problems with absorbent materials such as insulation products, or plasterboard, it also encourages mould growth. This can result in serious health implications for residents in the form of asthma and allergies. So for any project involving balcony detailing, the prevention of thermal bridging is a critical issue. And one of the most effective solutions available, is the Isokorb structural thermal break from Schöck. As the leading international supplier of structural thermal breaks, Schöck has almost limitless variants available in its main Isokorb range, offering planners complete construction dependability and enormous freedom of design. On this project it is the tried and trusted Schöck load-bearing element for concrete-to-concrete cantilever balcony detailing that is

being installed. The units feature an HTE compression module made of high-density microfibre reinforced concrete, with an 80mm insulation thickness. The elements transfer both negative moments and positive shear forces. Design freedom and construction dependability In addition to concrete-to-concrete, the comprehensive Schöck Isokorb range offers solutions for concrete-to-steel, steel-to-steel, a thermally insulating connection for reinforced concrete walls – and even a maintenance free alternative to wrapped parapets. All products meet full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations; have NHBC approval; offer LABC Registration and independent BBA Certification. For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide; the Schöck Specifiers Guide or to view the range of downloadable software, contact Schöck on 01865 290 890 or visit the website at

Editors Choice

Gunning London abseils to success in prestigious London residence Gunning London, a Chartered Building Company and expert in building refurbishment, has successfully completed the refurbishment of a prestigious London apartment block which included the use of specialist abseiling teams to minimise the potential inconvenience and risk to security sometimes associated with scaffolding. Working in close co-operation with Chartered Building Surveyors McCoy Pearce and 21 Hyde Park Square Limited, Gunning London completed an extensive programme of (primarily) external repairs to the windows, lead work, pitched and flat roofing, and rendering and masonry of the Grade II Listed building, which dates to the early 19th Century. Timber windows were repaired in the majority of cases using the Window Care System, and only replaced in exceptional circumstances. Roof repairs were made using the proprietary Radmat roofing products. Some scaffolding was used, but abseilers were also given a 48-hour slot to repair, render and decorate one section of the building to address the concerns of a particular resident. A team of more than 20 specialist

roofers, carpenters, painters and abseilers were on site at any one time, working Monday-Friday during business hours.

maintenance and refurbishment projects, that made them my first choice. They were also enjoyable to work with.”

Richard Shatford, Contracts Manager at Gunning London, said that communication and co-operation were key: “We worked closely with the surveyors, the management company and the residents themselves in keeping any disruption to a minimum and in delivering a quality finish and a firstclass service.”

With a track record spanning 30 years, Gunning London is trusted by some of the UK’s leading Educational establishments, Private Housing Groups and Housing Associations to deliver refurbishment and renovation projects of all sizes to the highest quality, on time and on budget.

Terry Pearce of McCoy Pearce said he was impressed with the completed project: “Gunning London completed the project on time and on budget, but more than this, they did it while understanding and accommodating the residents’ needs. It was this flexible approach, coupled with the quality of their workmanship on external

Director of Gunning London, Mike Gawadzyn, says this is an exciting time for the business: “The company continues to enjoy rapid growth and the support of a loyal customer base who value the quality of work we deliver,” he says.

12 Editors Choice

Spring gardening tips to get your garden ready for the Summer

Spring is here, but as gardeners rejoice, they also tentatively head to their gardens to begin the process of getting them ready for the summer. Spring is a time of out with the old and in with the new, various cleaning tasks and an array of maintenance jobs. Here, garden specialists Oeco Garden Rooms provide their top Spring gardening tips so that you can get your garden summer-ready. Garden Spring Cleaning and Maintenance With many gardening tasks taking a hiatus over the winter months and with gardens inevitably looking tied and uninviting, a spring clean is one of the first tasks in refreshing your garden for the season ahead. Start by removing any fallen leaves and clearing any borders and beds back to bare soil. You can use the dead organic matter you collected in your compost pile to be used later as a natural fertiliser, but do not put weeds in the compost, as the seeds can germinate and cause problems later down the line. Plants that survived the winter should be trimmed back to allow new growth to form and a great time to do this is after the plant has bloomed in early spring to prevent cutting off any future flowers and to prevent damage from frost. Pruning plants in spring

also gives them the best chance of blooming again in the summer. Your lawn is one of the most important spaces in the garden and must be looked after in the spring to ensure a healthy start to the season. Cutting the grass on a higher setting than usual the first couple of times will help with new growth, without putting too much strain on the grass; you can then lower your lawnmower to your preferred height as the lawn gets stronger. Patio areas and decking should also be cleaned in spring to prevent moss and algae build-up which can make these areas slippery. Warm soapy water and a hard bristle brush makes light work of most of the dirt, but for stubborn stains, a patio cleaner and pressure washer is a great choice. Spring is also the time to fix any issue in the garden such as broken or rotten fences, tired-looking garden furniture or old garden sheds. Clean the surfaces and repair any damaged pieces before staining or painting them to protect them over the coming months. Exterior stains and paints are now available in a range of different colours, so why not

Editor’s Choice 13 Spring is also a great time to freshen up the soil in your garden, applying some mulch and compost to feed the soil and the plants. Perennials such as the Pasque flower and Bellflowers will benefit from the increased nutrients and will decorate your garden with an array of vibrant colours. Unlocking your gardens potential Once the cleaning and maintenance tasks are done, it is time to look at going the extra mile and creating a space that the whole family can enjoy during the summer. Despite the unpredictable weather, outside entertaining is one of the most popular pastimes during the warmer weather. Comfortable furniture is vital to provide a space in which to relax and unwind, while budding cooks can create culinary masterpieces with BBQs and outdoor ovens. Café style festoon lighting and fire pits are a great choice when it comes to keeping the ambience going throughout the night. For those looking to extend their living space without having to build an expensive extension, garden rooms are a perfect choice. Available in a range of different sizes to suit any space, garden rooms can be used for multiple purposes, from an outdoor entertaining area or bar to a place for relaxing and unwinding in away from the main house. Technology isn’t something that you associate with the garden apart from lawnmowers, strimmer’s and the odd power tool, but as technology makes our lives more comfortable in the home, it was inevitable that it would be integrated into the garden.

experiment with adding pops of colour throughout your garden.

them and helping local wildlife to survive and thrive.

In with the new

Planting nectar-rich flowers is an excellent way of attracting butterflies and bees into the garden. Species such as Hebe and Lavender are particularly popular and produce an array of purple flowers that attracts a wide range of insects. Daffodils are the quintessential symbol of spring, while pansies are ideal for smaller borders and hanging baskets.

Flowers and plants are an essential consideration in any garden, and as trends change so does the types of plants used in the garden. Many gardeners are now using native plants and flowers as they look to be more conscious of the nature around

There is now an array of hi-tech gadgets available to make gardeners lives easier, from smart apps that remind you to water your plants to probes that analyse the soil and lets you know of impending problems, technology is everywhere. Remote-controlled ambient lighting and heating systems have been around for a while now and continue to improve, as do advanced sprinkler systems to make sure that every part of your garden gets the right amount of water.


Subfloor preparation for optimum results when refurbishing floors Ensuring a professional flooring finish as part of a refurbishment involves following the basics of subfloor preparation. These situations often mean dealing with damaged or contaminated subfloors. There’s also the common problem of damp, the leading cause of floor failure, which old buildings are more prone to because they will be less likely to have a structural damp proof course in place. Neil Sanders, technical director at F. Ball and Co. Ltd., the UK’s leading manufacturer of subfloor preparation products and adhesives for floorcoverings, provides a guide to these situations.

F. Ball recommends that contractors check that subfloors are suitably sound, smooth and dry before proceeding with any floorcovering installation. In the case of refurbishments, it will frequently be necessary to deal with subfloor contamination, including adhesive residues left behind after the removal of old floorcoverings. Where excess subfloor moisture is detected, an appropriate moisture management solution should be deployed to prevent floor failure. The application of a levelling compound is then

advisable to achieve a perfectly smooth base for floorcoverings. Damaged subfloors Upon removing old floorcoverings as part of a refurbishment, contractors may discover that the subfloor is cracked or damaged. This needs to be addressed before proceeding to the next stages of subfloor preparation. Where subfloors are very badly damaged, mechanical repair of the subfloor may be necessary. The appearance of cracks should always


be investigated in case there is an underlying issue that may result in floor failure. In most cases, cracks as deep as 50mm can be filled with a repair compound. Some levelling compounds can also be filled up to 50mm when graded aggregate is added and the water content in the mix reduced. It may also be the case that contractors find a sand/cement or calcium sulphate screed has a weak or friable surface – often the result of improper installation or curing. To avoid having to completely remove a weak or friable screed by mechanical means, it may be possible to treat it using a surface reinforcement system, such as Stopgap SRS, a two-component epoxy resin reinforcement material designed to quickly stabilise and reinforce weak sand/cement or calcium sulphate screeds. Contractors simply mix the components thoroughly, pour the mixture over the weak subfloor and spread out with a rubber squeegee, working into the surface until no more liquid is absorbed. Stopgap SRS is fastacting, meaning weak screeds can be reinforced overnight to provide a base suitable for the installation of subsequent subfloor preparation products. Contamination Subfloors in older buildings may also be contaminated with oil, grease or other chemicals. In this case, the surface will need to be removed using mechanical means before applying

other floor preparation products. In the case that the subfloor is very badly contaminated, the screed may need to be completely replaced. Old adhesive residues, such as bitumen and carpet tile tackifiers, may also be present after removing old floorcoverings as part of a refurbishment project. Traditionally, contractors would have to remove these completely by mechanical means before proceeding to apply other floor preparation products and installing new floorcoverings. Recent innovations now offer a new time-saving solution for preparing subfloors where old adhesive residues are present. As long as adhesive residues are minimal and well bonded, contractors can apply a levelling compound that’s been specially formulated for use over old adhesive residues. In such cases, there’s no need to prime before applying, saving further time. F. Ball’s Stopgap Isolator Membrane offers an alternative where subfloors are contaminated and cannot be prepared by traditional methods. Stopgap Isolator Membrane is an impervious loose-lay sheet that can be laid over damp or contaminated subfloors prior to the installation of vinyl sheet, linoleum or rubber floorcoverings and bitumen backed carpet tiles. Moisture management Just as when installing floorcoverings anywhere else, flooring contractors need to be aware of the problems

posed by damp when refurbishing floors in old buildings. Excess levels of subfloor moisture can result in moisture rising up and attacking adhesives and floorcoverings, possibly causing complete floor failure. Building regulations introduced in 1965 made it a legal requirement to install a structural damp proof course in new buildings, so damp is more likely to be a concern in buildings built before this time. Even if a damp proof course is present, contractors should always conduct a moisture test to determine subfloor moisture levels before proceeding to apply subfloor preparation products, least of all because the damp proof course may have been compromised at some point in the building’s history. Where a moisture test indicates that subfloor relative humidity (RH) levels are above 75% (65% if wood floorcovering will be installed), a waterproof surface membrane will be required to suppress excess subfloor moisture levels. Epoxy waterproof surface membranes are available that will isolate excess subfloor moisture where relative humidity values are up to 98%, with a single coat application, and fully cure in as little as three hours. Next steps Once it has been determined that subfloors are suitably sound, smooth and dry, contractors can proceed with preparing the subfloor for the installation of new floorcoverings. Where an isolator membrane has not been used, this should include the application of a levelling compound to create a perfectly smooth base for the receipt of floorcoverings.


Building the UK’s Largest Independent Builder’s Merchant 2020 marks the 25th Anniversary of MKM Building Supplies Ltd, the UK’s largest independent builder’s merchant. Executive Chairman, David Kilburn looks back over the 25 years and shares some of the milestones and memories that have gone into constructing one of the building trade’s best-loved brands, and one of the UK’s fastest growing businesses.

“As for any fledging business, in the early days orders are everything. And, after closing our first month with a trading profit and haven taken a healthy £123,000 - I am delighted to say 25 years later, we have never been short of orders and never looked back.”

“In 1995, my favourite sound was the ring of the fire-bell going off in the warehouse. It meant there was an order!” said David.

In many ways, the MKM of 2020 is almost unrecognizable from the first branch that opened in Hull in 1995. For a start the first branch sold caravan supplies rather than

building supplies, which MKM is renowned for today. There was a small team of 5 people working from rental premises, which had been secured for 9 months to get the business off the ground. David recalls: “Ironically, the premises belonged to an MKM competitor William Wilson. We signed up for 9 months but were still there 18 months later, at the time we were just glad not to be chucked out!”

Today, MKM Building Supplies employs over 1650 people and last year recorded sales of over £460 million. Already this year MKM has opened its 70th branch and has ambitious growth plans to be operating 100 branches by 2021/2022. Aside from the phenomenal success story and exponential growth, according to David many things haven’t changed at all over the 25 years. “Since day one, our company culture has always been very people focused, how we treat people has remained exactly the same. Every single person is important no matter what their role … our people are our biggest asset.” David added: “Technology and the digital age have of course altered things, but our teams still do the majority of business either over the trade counter or on the phone. That may change in years to come, but essentially people buy from people.”

“Relationships are key, our customers trust us to deliver quality products with great service as their own businesses rely on it - our teams appreciate that and make customers the priority. More so than any other industry, this is a people business and good relationships are the absolute bedrock of that business.” MKM was built on the concept that skilled, local people who understand the needs of local customers should serve the local trade. MKM is differentiated through its unique business model, centered on branch directors owning an equity stake in their branch with opportunity to share in profits. David believes empowering people and supporting their entrepreneurial spirit has been a key driver of growth. By 2005, MKM had opened 15 branches, five years later in 2010 a further 17 branches had been opened and by 2018 MKM Building Supplies had 54 branches throughout England and Scotland - the brand new MKM Grantham marks their 70th branch. David recalls: “Our biggest challenges in the early years were always time and money. If we had more of both earlier we would have grown more quickly, but it is important to keep a level head and not get ahead of yourself. We always prided ourselves on paying suppliers and staff on time, even though both my business partner and myself often took a reduced salary.” Business wasn’t always plain sailing, in 2008 almost every industry in the UK fell victim to what the media dubbed a ‘double dip recession’. The building and construction industry were hit hard, their performance acted as a barometer for the economic downturn and went into meltdown. David commented: “In 2008, we were acutely aware that external factors, beyond or control can take a serious toll on business. It seemed the entire financial world collapsed, our own industry went into a desperate panic with many of our competitors

laying off 30 to 40 percent of their people.”


“We took the decision not to take action. We decided to back our people and ride out the storm and were confident that business would eventually pick up… which of course it did. While the majority of the industry seemed to lose up to 40 percent revenue, I’m glad to say we did fare better and suffered losses of up to 11 percent, relatively unscathed in comparison.” Looking forward, MKM has an ambitious growth programme to open a further 30 branches in the next two years. David said: “Today, we still face challenges. We have an expansive growth programme but finding good properties in good locations can be a challenge and planning applications can be very slow, which frustrates progress.” “However our mantra, which we instill in all of our teams is to have fun at work. Indeed, some of the most demanding times in business have also been the most enjoyable. Some of our best times were in the early days - negotiating manufacturing deals, securing credit with the banks and often coming up against brick walls, whilst driving a couple of old bangers to collect building materials and grafting to sell. Working hard, but having fun is very much the MKM culture.” While looking forward to the opening of their 100th branch, David also believes there are growth opportunities ahead for MKM with acquisitions, developing new product lines and developing the kitchen and bathroom offering. David concluded; “Our own recipe for success, now fine-tuned over 25 years has been giving customers what they want, employing and retaining the best staff, engaging people in profit generation activities and of course having fun at work - which we certainly do!”


Snickers LITEWork Working Clothes for the Summer The innovative new quickdrying fabrics in this lightweight workwear make them a must for the summer months. A change of season means a change of focus on what you wear on site. That’s why Snickers NEW LITEWork clothing can help you keep your cool when you’re working in sunny, warm and humid environments. The ergonomic, bodymapping Trousers, Shirts, Shorts, mid-layer Jackets and Windproofers have all the comfort and functionality of other Snickers Workwear stretch garments but give extra freedom of movement on site. Just like high performance sportswear, they are super-light, quick-drying garments – with ventilation and moisture transport features - that keep you looking smart and feeling cool wherever you are on site in warm weather. After all, keeping a balanced work temperature is not just about staying cool it’s a matter of your wellbeing and job safety. So, to make sure you get the right protection, flexibility, durability and ventilation, check out the Snickers Workwear product families for precisely the right garments to fit your workday. Getting information on the Snickers’ new LITEWork clothing is easy. You can call the Snickers Helpline on 01484 854788, checkout the website and download a digital catalogue at or email

DRU Maestro 75XTU Eco Wave gas fire

INSPIRATION, APPLICATION, SOLUTION! DRU gas fires are among the most advanced heating appliances in Europe, with a choice of over 50 models. There are many inspiring designs, including 2, 3-sided, seethrough and freestanding fires.

Complete freedom of installation They require no chimney, and with the addition of the patented DRU PowerVent® extended flue system, they can be installed in the most unlikely locations.

Tablet or smartphone controls You can select your preferred flame picture, heat output and much more using the exclusive DRU Eco Wave app for tablets and smartphones. It all adds up to the UK’s most complete gas fire solution.

DRU is an approved CPD provider to architects and DRU fires have many design features that make them ideal for inclusion in architect-led projects.

Drugasar Ltd. • T: 0161 793 8700 • E: •


DRU Maestro 60/3, 3-sided hybrid fire

DRU Fires unveils new products for winter 2019 DRU Fires has unveiled a selection of new fires and stoves for the 2019/2020 winter season across all its brands, fuel types and price points

New hybrid gas/electric fire The DRU Maestro 60 is a hybrid gas/electric fire with a unique ‘Summerlighting’ feature. Known as ‘the first fire for all seasons’, it can be switched effortlessly from gas fire mode in the autumn and winter to electric fire mode during spring and summer. Like all designer DRU gas fires, it is controlled by the exclusive Eco Wave app for smartphones and tablets. In addition, DRU is offering free Clear View anti-reflective glass with all Maestro and Metro front model gas fires ordered between October 1 and December 31, 2019.

New Global by DRU TruFlame® series Global by DRU is a range of mid-priced gas fires. This autumn sees the launch of the new TruFlame® series, with their impressive new flame picture and choice of balanced flue, conventional flue or cavity wall fires in sizes that are compatible with standard UK chimneys.

New Dik Geurts Modivar modular wood stove Dik Geurts is the brand name for the wood stoves and fires that are manufactured by DRU.

Global by DRU 70XT gas fire

The new Modivar modular stove, with its selection of beautifully designed log storage compartments and plinths, is a welcome addition to the popular Ivar/ Aste stove range. Modivar is Ecodesign ready and has an A+ energy label.


Spartherm Arte Xh-3S front wood fire

New Spartherm built-in wood fires DRU is the UK distributor for the German produced Spartherm range of wood fires and stoves. This autumn has seen the launch of a new selection of built-in models in front, 2-sided and 3-sided versions, with their exclusive electronically controlled vertically sliding glass doors, high energy efficiency and many other unique features. All the new products from the DRU, Global by DRU, Dik Geurts and Spartherm brands can be viewed in detail at

Dik Geurts Modivar modular wood stove

22 Coatings, Sealants & Paints

Sealed With Approval Get the job done right with Bond It. Offering a wide range of products and services to the building and construction market. Boasting a portfolio of over 450 products from silicones, adhesives, bitumen solutions, waterproofers, smoothing compounds, cleaners, the list goes on. Stocked nationwide by independant builders merchants the Bond It name is synonymous with high quality at affordable prices Manufactured in the UK, Bond It’s products are widely used in construction projects worldwide and have been a recognised brand amongst professionals for nearly two decades. Operating from a state-of-the -art production and warehousing facility that spans over 100,000m2 in West Yorkshire. An established British manufacturer for nearly 20 years Bond It maintains stringent control throughout all its production processes being accredited to ISO9001, 14001 and are in the final stages of achieving 45001. Over 85% of our product portfolio is manufactured here in the UK. Quality assured all the way. Continual investment into new products and plant and machinery is key to our success. Large reinvestment has been put back into the company since 2012 to ensure our production processes are optimised to the full. Manufacturing capabilities include: Silicone compounding, automated filling machines for adhesives and chemicals, solvent plant, cementitious powder plant and hybrid filling. We have the ability to fill 155 cartridges

per minute equating to 375,000 per week with one shift, or 45 million per annum, and produce 90,000 litres of PVA per week, 10.8 million litres per annum. After sealing a recent joint venture agreement with one of India’s fastest growing manufacturers of pipes and piping systems, Astral Poly Technik Limited, this additional backing has also accelerated Bond Its ambitious and global plans for the future, offering our growing customer base more products in more volumes than ever before. Success in the United States with subsidiary group Seal It Services Inc. is also creating opportunities. Expansion plans to supply to the US market with a wide range of silicones, adhesives and hybrid roofing products has taken the name worldwide. With an ever growing range of innovative and tried and tested formulations Bond It can offer products for nearly every trade application, from tiling, plumbing, roofing, DIY, to glazing, landscaping, sealing, flooring and carpentry. Fully supported by a Team of Technical experts, Bond It has the answers when it comes to choosing the right products. If you want the job done right choose Bond It, the tradesmans choice. As a leading UK Manufacturer of Hybrid Sealants Bond It have now launched their “next generation” Hybrid Roofing Membrane on to the market. Seal It Liquid

Coatings, Sealants & Paints 23 Membrane, an easy to apply one coat roof seal, is a modern alternative to traditional GRP, PU and bitumen roof coatings. It is highly reflective, solvent-free, non-flammable liquid membrane formulated for professional roofing applications and requires no special training to apply. Seal It Liquid Membrane is designed to be used on its own, however, in more demanding situations it can be used in conjunction with a primer, accelerator (which allows for the material to be applied at subzero temperatures), reinforcement mat and edging and trimming sealer, the system offers a high performance, permanently flexible, watertight, durable, weatherproofing barrier for all existing roof substrates guaranteed for 25 years. Providing primerless adhesion on a wide variety of building and roofing substrates, it has excellent resistance to ageing, ultra-violet and discolouration. It also provides water vapour permeability, allowing the surface to breathe. Under test conditions, Seal It was shown to have superb cool roof thermal properties outperforming black bitumen by 36% at just 0.8mm thickness. It was also 11.3% more efficient than solar reflective paint all helping to reduce energy costs. Based on advanced hybrid technology, Seal It remains permanently flexible. It does not harden or soften under extreme weather conditions with very high stability to temperature variations (from -50°C to +120°C), to UV radiation and to external chemical attack. It offers many benefits including ease of application, fast curing times, no solvent and virtually odourless and can even be applied on to damp surfaces. Available in grey and white in 5L and 20L eyecatching tins.

For more information on Seal It contact our Sales Team on 01422 315300 or visit

24 Coatings, Sealants & Paints

Earthborn doubles silicate colours Exterior masonry is probably the toughest test of all for a paint. It needs to be durable and weatherproof, as well as good looking - and not all masonry paints were born equal. Ecopro Silicate Masonry Paint is a highly durable, breathable and weather resistant mineral paint.

Earthborn believes its Ecopro Silicate Masonry System is the most advanced masonry paint available and in response to a growing demand, it is increasing the colours available from 24 to 48, offering plenty of choice. The system comprises a primer and paint, which together form a chemical bond with the underlying mineral substrate. The result is a very hard wearing, water and weather resistant barrier, yet it is highly breathable, which prevents moisture damage within walls. Now, both the primer and all of the 48 paint colours are available in 100ml tester pots, so the whole system can be tested on site. The new colour card and tester pots can be ordered from the Earthborn website. Conventional acrylic based paints may stop rain driving into a wall but they also create a barrier that stops moisture escaping. It’s widely recognised that unless a wall can breathe through the paint there will be a build up of moisture within the wall, causing blown paint and plaster or render. Being water based and free of oils and acrylics, Ecopro silicate paint is virtually VOC and toxin free. That means it is very environmentally

friendly and better for the health of decorators. It’s a simple three-coat system: a primer followed by two paint coats (the first diluted with 10-20% primer). The system can be used on any porous mineral surface such as stone, brick, concrete, harling, plaster and render. If a wall has been painted previously, the preparation differs depending on the type of paint used. For limewash, all that’s required is a good scrub to get rid of any loose paint. Ecopro silicate will happily bond with limewash. It gives a classic matt finish that will not discolour over time. It even helps prevent algae growth and mould. Earthborn conservatively states a lifespan of 15 years for the Ecopro Silicate Masonry System but fully

expects applications to last much longer. There are buildings painted with silicate paint more than 80 years ago, which are still in excellent condition. Look for inspiration on Earthborn’s Instagram page @earthbornpaints and kick-start your project by ordering a free Silicate Masonry Paint colour card showing the new enlarged range of 48 colours and 100 ml tester pots of primer and paint - all available from the Earthborn website.

WHEN IT NEEDS TO BE FOOD SAFE OSMO TOPOIL PROTECTS KITCHEN WORKTOPS AND CHILDREN’S TOYS WITHOUT THE USE OF HARMFUL SUBSTANCES. Wherever children play or food is processed, safe coatings and finishes are to be used – for example, Osmo TopOil. The oil-wax combination protects wood, cork and OSB surfaces against dirt and water. It is the only product of its kind – certified food safe.


Surfaces treated with Osmo TopOil can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth. It is best to avoid using conventional all-purpose cleaners. Use Osmo Spray Cleaner instead; it will not damage the protective oil layer.



Up to now, Osmo TopOil has been available in the variations: Clear matt, Clear satin, Acacia and Natural. Now, three new colours are available: 3037 White, 3038 Terra and 3039 Graphite.


Osmo TopOil is certified to Euro Norm 1186 Part 5/14, which is normally used for food packaging.

Food safe








EURO-Norm 1186 part 5/14 fo



, a n i ma l s a n d p l a


Osmo TopOil protects surfaces not only against water, wear and dirt, but also against stains from coffee, wine and cola. Dents or tough stains can be simply sanded away and recoated with Osmo TopOil.



26 Coatings, Sealants & Paints

Resin Bound Surfacing Continues to Surge in Popularity Resin Bound has seen unprecedented growth in demand over the last 5 years, becoming the fastest growing surfacing solution in the UK for driveways, paths and patios, and a firm favourite with specifiers and installers alike. Offering wide-ranging practical and aesthetic advantages over traditional surfacing solutions such as concrete, macadam and block paving, Resin Bound has become an integral feature of many landscaping and home renovation projects. Resin Bound’s popularity has been driven by its permeability.

Resin Bound (when laid on a suitable sub-base) is SuDS compliant, planning permission is not required - a huge plus for new builds and renovations.

As climate change and unpredictable weather become everyday issues with serious consequences, any solution which protects and potentially ‘futureproofs’ a property is of interest.

Additionally, its permeable nature prevents the build-up of water. Handling up to 850L of water per m2 per minute means that a Resin Bound driveway will be free from puddles even in the heaviest rain.

Government legislation stipulates new driveways must comply with Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) regulations, and because

Additional advantages include low maintenance, weed resistance and anti-slip properties.

Coatings, Sealants & Paints 27 As well as being practical, Resin Bound is also an incredibly attractive and versatile choice. With a wideranging choice of single aggregate colours and blends available, the design of any Resin Bound project is limited only by a designer’s imagination. Colours can be combined to create geometric patterns, personalised letters, bespoke logos and contrasting colour blocks. The new DALTEX Bespoke range features 46 stunning Resin Bound blends. Colours span the spectrum, from stylish greys and silvers to deep reds to golden browns and yellows making it ideal for contemporary and traditional properties of all ages and styles. Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates specialises in sourcing the highest quality materials from quarries across the UK and worldwide – and have done so since 1984. As one of the largest aggregate manufacturers in the UK and the home of DALTEX the no. 1 Resin Bound brand in the UK - the company offers 100% stock availability with next day nationwide delivery. The DALTEX UVR System has also been awarded certification by the British Board of Agrément (BBA) - the highest industry standard available. Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates is committed to providing the training needed to help specifiers and

contractors deliver successful Resin Bound installations. A one-day training course is run from the company’s purpose-built training facility in Derbyshire. Run by independent, experienced Resin Bound contractors - the day includes hands-on practical training alongside product information including the mix design and installation techniques required to meet BBA standards. The course costs £75pp (exc. VAT) and every attendee is provided with a free DALTEX sample case worth £20, a hydrometer and thermometer to take away. A certificate of attendance is also provided. Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates is committed to working closely with landscape designers and architects and contractors and builders to create high quality Resin Bound installations. With over 35 years experience, the sales and technical teams are on hand to offer practical advice about every aspect of Resin Bound - from initial specification through to finished installation - and you don’t need to be a current customer to ask a question! An extensive online knowledge centre is also available on This instant resource answers the most commonly asked questions regarding Resin Bound. Want to know more? The in-house team is more than happy to provide additional information and answer any questions you may have. Contact: W: E: T: 01629 636500


RINNAI HOT WATER ON DEMAND - FUEL, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND FINANCE EFFICIENT – AND NOW EASY TO CHOOSE Rinnai – makers of units delivering limitless, on demand supplies of hot water – are offering end-users an easy-to-choose facility via online interface. The end-user simply visits the website for instant assistance on choosing the right products to deliver fuel, energy and environmentally efficient hot water, reliably and constantly. Says Chris Goggin, “Whatever your industry we have innovative products and systems that give your site or sites limitless supplies of temperaturecontrolled hot water which are designed with the environment in mind, with low emission technology and high efficiencies, as well as a host of other great features, as well as costing you significantly less than any other mode of hot water supply.” We recognise that every application is unique and that choosing the right product can be a little daunting so we invite end-users to visit our website and find the ‘Help Me Choose’ facility and we will do everything else from there,” adds Mr Goggin. Rinnai recently completed the installation of 2 x HDC1500i continuous flow hot water heating units at a busy laundrette serving businesses and the public in Stafford. Rinnai products were chosen on the recommendation of another laundrette owner, in Lancashire, who praised the efficiency and major cost savings because of switching to cascaded continuous flow hot water units as they guarantee almost unlimited supplies of hot water at peak demand whilst savings on fuel costs. Word of mouth is the best possible marketing and a site survey was duly arranged and completed to confirm the best solution in controlling operational costs and efficiencies. The existing system was a heated stored water system – this meant that the

site was paying to heat water it was not instantly using. It was clear from the site survey that Rinnai units configured to maximise both space and energy efficiency – and critically – the system’s reliability – would yield seriously large cost savings to the owner.

Given that the Rinnai units were being wall mounted and externally flued, this gave extra storage space to the premises as there was no need for a dedicated plant room. Comments Ray Gallimore, proprietor of the Weston Road Launderette, “The old storage system had become

completely impractical, inefficient and needlessly expensive to run. “For example, the washers tend to be used sporadically. During a busy weekend there could be a demand for eight to ten people battling to use the machines at once, during the week there might be one or two. That meant we had to store a decent volume of hot water ‘just in case’ in the form of a storage water heater. Needless to say, keeping the stored volume at optimum temperature 24/7 was often wasted energy, a really bad, expensive idea all round.” Clearly the site needed to change the system to one that could cater for these fluctuations without running up huge energy bills and the solution wasn’t hard to find. “I was made aware of Infinity water heaters installed in similar applications to mine and in general their experiences with their products and their personnel, such as the local Rinnai sales consultant, were consistently positive and professional.” “The beauty of working with Rinnai is the service they offer. We presented the project to Rinnai’s Technical Sales team who came up with the design, configured the sizes of unit required and delivered the system complete and to a very tight timescale – this was key as the existing water heater had developed a leak and I was extremely mindful that the business had to remain operational to satisfy local demand. We are very happy with Rinnai and will be spreading the word,” adds Ray Gallimore. Now two HDC1500i internal mounted water heaters with secondary circulation provide hot water for 12 commercial machines, plus a sink and a wash hand basin. “The Rinnai system has resulted in an energy reduction and gas saving due to higher efficiencies and because we are no longer maintaining large amounts of stored hot water. It’s not rocket science to work that out!” “In terms of gas usage running costs compared to the old wasteful storage system, our bills have virtually been halved since the Rinnai system went live five months ago which is absolutely tremendous,” says Gallimore. * Tested and certificated by Technigas to EN 26.

Rinnai’s heavy-duty condensing range uses two heat exchangers to capture residual heat from flue gases to pre-heat incoming water, with the HDC1500i turning in 105% net efficiencies*. These figures add up to considerable on-going energy savings when compared with traditional gas fired stored water systems. With a Rinnai condensing unit, temperature is regulated to within +/-1ºC via ‘smart’ internal controls without any variation of temperature at the outlet even when water is drawn off elsewhere. All models have full electronic ignition, no pilot light and operate on demand only, so there is no gas consumption when the unit is idle. The units are easily configured in a manifold arrangement, ensuring there will never be a shortfall of instant hot water whatever the demand. Rinnai, the UK’s leading manufacturer of the ErP A-rated Infinity range of continuous flow condensing gas-fired water heaters, supplies the best energy efficient range of low-NOx water heating units currently on the market. Advanced condensing heat exchangers combined with innovative burner technology ensures that every cubic metre of gas is used to the maximum on HDC 1500i. Legionella proliferation is answered by Rinnai: the company has developed additional ‘SMART’ controls for secondary return DHW systems in the form of an advanced temperature control system which allows for safe running of water at 42°C core temperature during the day and 60°C at a time when the building is closed. By the time the building reopens, core temperature is 42°C for safe use.


boilers and water heaters will accumulate scale deposits when used within hard water areas over time. Lime scale consists of calcium carbonate (calcite) with lesser amounts of other calcium salts such as the sulphate. Sometimes lime scale deposits contain corrosion debris and this scale build-up can affect the water heaters by reducing their efficiency and overall performance. Ultimately, ongoing use with hard water may shorten the lifespan of conventional water heating appliances and systems. To safeguard against this Rinnai units continually self-monitor for lime scale deposits around the heat exchanger. If a lime scale build up has being identified, a message is sent to the built-in interface panel on the front of the appliance. The message is displayed as ‘LC’, which alerts the end user that it is time to call a Rinnai service agent to perform a lime scale flush to clear the potentially harmful deposits. This avoids and eliminates the adverse effects associated with lime scale build up, including lower energy efficiencies and rapid product de-generation.

Rinnai’s HDC range offers condensing technology with up to 107% gross efficiency, ultra-low-NOx of less than 20 ppm, a widely expansive modulation range of 54kW-4kW and high flow rates of 37/ltr/min. Add to these benefits are the peace of mind of an extended warranty, a top A-rating exceeding the demands of eco-labelling legislation, the flexibility of external wall mounting and delivery to site with all relevant accessories and the knowledge that the HDC range is future-proofed against future regulatory and legislative changes.

Another Rinnai innovation addresses an age-old industry problem with hot water delivery - lime scale build-up. The company’s integrated scale control system is an innovative solution and comes in the form of an LC (lime check) code on the display of the controller. Almost all water-fed appliances, including plate heat exchangers,

30 Lifts, Stairs & Balustrades Highly visible and a practical necessity, balustrades are increasingly being chosen to make a focal point in building interiors. For this reason, and because of the many practical advantages it offers, glass is now often chosen, not only for interiors but for building facades too. This is a material that offers many practical benefits that sit well with specifiers working commercial and residential architecture, such as thermal insulation, solar control, acoustics, fire protection, safety and security. Internally, one of the biggest challenges is lack of natural light; particularly when there are lots of rooms within rooms which leads to the flow of light being halted, leaving the interior dark and uninspiring. Research suggests that the more natural light there is, the greater the wellbeing of the building’s occupants. The use of glass therefore enables natural light to flow and a high-end look to be achieved, while acoustics and privacy levels can also be managed effectively. The cost effectiveness of glass is another advantage due to its durability and timeless impression, so won’t need to be frequently replaced. Letting natural light through will also save on energy bills, making glass a very cost-effective resource too. Providing a fast and safe way to install glass balustrades, CRL’s TAPERLOC® system offers flexibility and control for accurate fitting, while

making replacing scratched or broken panels a relatively simple task too. Available for toughened laminated and monolithic glass between 12 and 25,52 mm and in a wide choice of finishes, TAPER-LOC® is a dry-glazed railing system that reduces fitting time significantly as it is a unique design that uses precision tension to secure the glass in the aluminium base shoe without the use of cement. Using CRL’s exclusive TLK12 installation and removal tool, the Tapers simply slide horizontally in the base shoe before being compressed, where it expands and locks into place. It also enables installation to be completed from the safe side of the balustrade from start to finish. Tested

to meet the strictest building code requirements such as BS6180:2011 and AbP, the system uses a horizontal design, allowing it to be adjusted, dismantled and re-set within minutes. Tested to meet the strictest building code requirements, TAPER-LOC® System from CRL can be completely installed from the safe side of the balustrade, eliminating the need for an expensive scaffolding and reducing labour times while being a safe option for installers For further information call 01706 863600, email, or visit

Platform Lifts Our range of platform lifts includes the MC2000 lift (right) - a high quality enclosed platform lift with a unique chain drive, and the option of glazing on all 4 shaft sides. With a fantastic guarantee, and small footprints available, this is a premier platform lift. We also offer stair platform lifts and a range of platform lifts for both internal and external use.

The Platform Lift Experts

Tel: 0845 4682543 Web:

32 Lifts, Stairs & Balustrades

New products and new ownership for Ability Lifts

Ability Lifts has recently been acquired by the Aritco Group AB; one of the world’s leading manufacturers of platform lifts. With a 16,000 square metre factory in Sweden, Aritco produce almost 4,000 lifts every year and sell in 40 different countries. For our customers, this means we can offer the backing of a huge group with all our products, it also means improved customer support, and the addition of exciting new products to our range. One of the most versatile new products added to our range is the ‘Optimum 100s.’ This platform lift has been designed for schools, restaurants, offices and public buildings, offering a high quality of finish, including an anodized aluminium platform console, braille and tactile push button, along with an ergonomically designed aluminium or stainless steel handrail on the

carriage. The shaft panels and landing doors can be powder coated with a choice of 1625 different RAL colours and the option to include glazing into the shaft enclosure. We can take the level of finishes from the high standard finish to an exceptional level of sophistication to suit every application. The lift has a patented no-leak screw and nut system, alongside the lowest maintenance and operating costs on the market. The flexible design can serve from two to six floors, with a maximum travel height of 13 metres. Designed to be customisable, the lift can be finished with a choice of

clear, tinted or frosted glass, whilst the flooring offers a selection of nine different finishes including, European oak, checker stud and aluminium.The lift is fully Part M and Equality Act compliant and comes in a range of platform sizes to suit any requirement. With just a 50mm pit (or ramp) required, and no machine room, this lift can fit in just about anywhere. To find out more about the Optimum 100s Platform Lift or other lift products, you can give Ability Lifts a call on 0845 0068803 and speak to one of their friendly experts.

Platform Lifts Here at Ability Lifts, we offer solutions for many different access requirements, from platform lifts and stair platform lifts, to external lifts, access lifts and much more. We aim to offer top quality service and highly competitive prices. All of our access lifts are in compliance with the Machinery Directive MD 2006/42/EC, EN8141 and Part M, and we’re happy to advise you with any questions you may have about access requirements. The Optimum 100 - The self supporting enclosed Platform Lift �

Glazing to all four sides if required

Special colours available

Uses 75% less energy than other types �

Footprint - 1250mm x 1560mm �

Platform size - 1120mm x 1480mm � EN81-

41 and Machinery Directive compliant � Market leading warranty period

Please call us for a chat, we have a range of platform lifts to suit your requirements.

Tel: 0845 006 8803 Email: Web:


Panasonic Installers Visit He Pump Factory in Czech Repu

A group of installers from the UK and Ireland recently visited Panaso in Pilsen, Czech Republic to see the company’s latest heat pump prod facility. The factory started production of Panasonic’s Aquarea Air So Pumps in October 2018 in order to help meet the growing demand wi for renewable heating technologies and to ensure shorter lead times, towards a greener and more sustainable future.

eat ublic

onic’s factory duction ource Heat ithin Europe , as it works

35 “The visit to the factory was very informative,” commented Gary O’Neil of Mimram Services. “I especially enjoyed the show room visit, and the sharing of product knowledge was second to none.” With climate change high on the international news agenda, Europe has already seen exponential demand for more renewable solutions to provide heating, cooling and hot water for both domestic and commercial use. This increase is predicted to continue, especially with new legislation planned for a net zero economy by 2050*1 and banning the installation of gas boilers on all new developments in the UK from 2025, with a further prediction of a total ban from 2050*2. Panasonic has developed the Aquarea Air Source Heat Pump range to provide a renewable alternative that utilises energy from the air, providing an energy efficient, cleaner and sustainable alternative to conventional fossil fuel or electric systems. The facility in Pilsen, Czech Republic currently has one Aquarea production line, with manufacturing set to progressively increase to reach an annual output of 40,000 units to meet demand. According to Panasonic’s mid-term plan, it is set to become one of the main factories for the production of the Panasonic Aquarea range of heat pumps in Europe. “We are very proud of this new facility and the capabilities it gives us, with delivery of just one day to most destinations in Europe.” commented Sean Graham – Area Sales Manager for Panasonic UK. Warren Davies of Dysk added: “A thoroughly enjoyable trip with exceptional people. The technical knowledge and passion from Panasonic is admirable, particularly on the air to water products. A big thank you on behalf of Dysk Air Conditioning to Panasonic

Czech, Panasonic UK / Ireland for being amazing hosts.” The factory in Pilsen has been producing Panasonic TVs since 1996, with the company adding the heat pump line in the latter part of 2018. Radek Vach, General Manager, Business Planning Department of the Panasonic Pilsen Factory hosted the factory tour and explained to the group how “the quality assurance and product safety procedures that the factory has developed over time has been implemented to further develop the quality and production of the Panasonic Aquarea Air to Water units.” Walter Stephens, A2W Account Manager for Panasonic Ireland, reminded the group about recent reports from the Committee on Climate Change: “Energy use in homes accounts for about 14% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions need to fall by at least 24% by 2030*3”. Walter further commented on how legislation is helping to drive the option of green technologies such as air source heat pumps. “Gas cookers and boilers could be banned from new homes within six years to meet carbon emissions targets. Property developers will not be allowed to connect new-builds to the gas grid after 2025, according to official guidance.” Panasonic has previously exported air-to-water heat pumps to Europe from its Malaysian factory. The new production facility provides Panasonic with a better capability to meet growing demand for energy-efficient heating and cooling across the region. It will also create a more localised and agile approach to product design in line with European regulations. For Panasonic customers in Europe, Aquarea lead times will be reduced thanks to short-haul transportation links, which also contributes to a reduction in the environmental impact of long-haul product shipping from Malaysia.

For more information on Panasonic’s air conditioning and heating solutions, please visit

36 Doors, Windows & Architectural Hardware

Added protection where needed from Crittall MW40 Crittall’s Corporate MW40 steel windows can be specified where superior air, wind or water resistance and greater sound attenuation are required.

Offering the same high-quality appearance as the company’s successful Corporate W20 range the MW40 variant can accept glass up to twice the thickness as its stable mate. Either double, or triple glazing up to 32mm thick can be installed with a consequent higher level of thermal or sound insulation. This is achieved while retaining the same slender steel profile for which Crittall products are renowned thereby ensuring maximum light ingress. Corporate MW40 features a highperformance double weather seal and is supplied hot dip galvanised with a low maintenance Duralife polyester powder coating in a range of RAL and BS shades.

It is available in a wide range of configurations and its special properties are proving particularly attractive in the education, hotel and healthcare sectors as well as other commercial settings where thermal and acoustic properties are a major concern. The windows can be installed with solar control, laminated security or sound control glazing as required and the window has found favour with architects for both new build and heritage style replacement windows. Corporate MW40’s ‘stepped’ profile is particularly redolent of traditional fenestration dating back to the early 20th century. Avoiding a bland, flat-

faced appearance it therefore fits well into heritage refurbishments but also offers a clean-cut aesthetic equally at home with contemporary designs.

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38 Doors, Windows & Architectural Hardware

See the whole picture with launch of new VELUX STUDIO window Leading roof window manufacturer VELUX® has launched its new STUDIO window, which is the first roof window to boast three sashes in one frame.

The innovative, one-frame design features two VELUX centre-pivot roof windows on either side of a fixed unit to bring in even more daylight and offer a wider, more impressive view. By utilising a solar conversion kit, VELUX STUDIO can be remotely operated via VELUX INTEGRA® technology, offering greater flexibility to homeowners who want better control of their indoor environment. The VELUX STUDIO window offers a number of unique benefits to the trade, including: •

It’s easy to order as only one product code and one flashing package are required to order

The innovative one-frame module follows a standard installation process so you can save time and get the job done in one day

Having three glazing units in one integrated solution makes installing multiple windows a whole lot easier

Doors, Windows & Architectural Hardware 39

Grant Sneddon, product manager for VELUX, said: “We are ecstatic to be launching our new VELUX STUDIO window, a revolutionary product in the roof window market. “We are constantly looking for new ways to innovate our offering to installers, merchants and homeowners so we can continue to be market leaders in providing roof window solutions that offer the best in daylight and ventilation capabilities and create healthier home environments. VELUX STUDIO does exactly that.

“In comparison to a similar triple combination VELUX roof window installation, VELUX STUDIO’s all-inone mechanism provides a more cost effective solution and brings in 23% more daylight.” VELUX STUDIO is currently available in size FK06 (1837 x 1178mm), white painted finish, double and triple glazed variants with slate or tile flashing kits that include all installation products (usually sold separately). Prices start from £1,017 excl. VAT. For more information, visit

Market Leading Design for Modern Living


Tailored To You Residence 7 windows and doors are finished to perfection, combining a modern flush appearance and unquestionable market leading design features and performance, all in a maintenance free material. Available as casement windows, shaped windows, bay and bow windows, orangeries, conservatories, single doors and French doors - R7 has all the choices for the perfect home.

Your Home, Your Way Create an individual design statement for any home with a range of luxury colour finishes and hardware options, all have been carefully created, allowing you to replace the current windows and doors with a more efficient, secure and attractive system.

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R7 is here to inspire you on your journey to create the dream home. Beautifully flush inside and out, available in a range of maintenance free finishes and a variety of styles, it is versatile without complication. R7 outperforms many other systems with a sophisticated 7 chamber design and intelligent features. It’s the ideal solution for a wide range of properties, from modern new builds to city apartments and country cottages to semi-detached houses, with everything in between. Designed and made in Britain, we’ve built long-lasting partnerships with our network of highly experienced fabricators and installers who are all ready to assist you in the decision making process. So what are you waiting for? Your R7 journey starts here...

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7 7


Reducing costs throughout a building’s whole lifecycle During design and construction, there is often a lack of focus on a building’s costs across its whole lifecycle – both in terms of financial costs and costs to environmental and occupant health. Adrian Judd, Operations Director at Steico UK, discusses how investing in a healthy home can reduce a building’s overall, lifecycle costs.


Health should be at the forefront of every decision throughout the entire construction process. By prioritising health, members of the construction industry can create a more resilient, sustainable and natural built environment which enhances the wellbeing of its occupants and the environment. This durability ensures a longer lifecycle for healthy buildings, with a reduced need for regular maintenance or renovation work to improve aesthetics or performance.

The true cost of a healthy building When considering the costs associated with constructing a healthy building, it is often perceived that natural materials are more expensive than their synthetic alternatives. Since 2018, natural and synthetic materials are at near price parity, meaning it is no longer always more expensive to build healthy buildings. Added to this, the whole lifecycle costs for a healthy building is much lower due to enhanced durability, weather resistance and improved indoor air quality. These costs go beyond monetary – environmental costs, costs to human health as well as costs of keep a building regularly maintained can all be reduced by putting health at the fore.

1. Decreased environmental costs The use of natural materials is a key element of a healthy building. Natural materials, such as wool or woodfibre, are sustainable, meaning they do not deplete natural resources. They also use much less carbon in both their production and use, resulting in lower carbon emissions and minimising their overall environmental impact. Wood sequesters carbon and thus carbon is captured or locked into the product for its entire lifespan. This knowledge allows architects and builders to reach ambitious CO2 reduction targets laid out by the Government1. Healthy buildings also improve the energy efficiency of homes. High quality, thermally efficient insulation and the utilisation of natural light wherever possible contribute to a consistently comfortable temperature and a well-lit home, reducing reliance on artificial heat and light. This subsequently minimises energy consumption.

air quality within a healthy home, decreasing the prevalence of common respiratory ailments such as asthma. In addition to this, by making the most of natural light, healthy homes can also act to improve motivation, focus and regulate sleep cycles – enhancing the mental health of occupants.

3. Reduced maintenance and upkeep costs Natural materials are also strong, durable and weather resistant. The resilience of these materials will decrease the need for regular upkeep and maintenance, minimising the costs associated with these over the building’s lifecycle.

Managing cost misconceptions surrounding healthy building Healthy building is not a luxury – it’s a necessity – and one we no longer have to pay more to achieve. Natural building materials not only now compete on price with their synthetic alternatives, but the healthy buildings they create also carry much lower costs across their whole lifecycle due to their enhanced resilience and durability.

Healthy building as a necessity With a heightened focus on protecting the environment and safeguarding occupant wellbeing, the demand for healthy homes is rapidly increasing. By adopting healthy building as the norm, the long-term costs of our homes can be reduced and their lifecycles prolonged. Healthy homes are a necessity, not only to extend the building lifecycle, but to safeguard occupant health and the health of our planet. At Futurebuild 2020, Steico will be encouraging the construction industry to share their commitment to healthy buildings as part of their unbranded, Supporting Healthy Buildings campaign.

2. Reduced cost to occupant health As natural materials are vapour permeable, they enable moisture to pass through their fibres, minimising the build up of mould, rot or condensation. This contributes to a higher indoor

To find out more about the campaign and how you can adopt healthy building practices to reduce costs, visit


44 We’ve been manufacturing products for the Highways and Street Lighting and Outdoor Power industries on our Somerset premises since 1990. The business grew from founder Colin Fisher’s Toolmaking business in 1982, adding wrought iron gates, railings and other products and later including fabrication of sheet steel products – Feeder Pillars. We moved to Somerset from Erith in Kent to better service our biggest client at the time. Since that time the business has re-centred itself and now has 4 core product lines:

Tel 0333 666 2122 Fisher & Company, 1-4 Cary Court, Somerton Business Park, Somerton, Somerset, TA11 6SB

• Feeder Pillars • Pedestrian Crossing Equipment • Brackets for signage and lighting • Insulated Groundworking Tools Here at Fisher & Company we have a well-earned reputation for manufacturing excellent quality and in industry leading fast lead times, especially for Bespoke and Special Feeder Pillars and other Stainless or Mild Steel items. We were asked by Rexel Bootle to quote for 43 Traditional Style Feeder Pillars, all finished in Black & Gold livery for the Princes Avenue STEP Scheme which is due for completion this Summer 2020. This £4m scheme is part of Liverpool City Region’s Sustainable Transport Enhancement Package (STEP) and focuses on the regeneration of the central reservation along Princes Avenue and upgrading the carriageway and footpaths along Princes Avenue and Princes Road. By installing the 1km long cycle path within the central reservation - a first for Liverpool - the scheme’s aim is to improve cycle connectivity between south Liverpool and the city centre, with the plan to install a new Citybike station along the route. The new cycle path would also form an extension of a new ‘green corridor’ to Otterspool that is due to be delivered in the next 12 months. The URBAN Green UP project has £3.4m of EU funding to install and test three ‘green corridors’ across the city, which was a key recommendation in the city council’s Strategic Green and Open Spaces Review.



We are really pleased to have been involved with this project. WT Jenkins PHOTOMONTAGE 01 have installed around half of them as this goes to press and we are looking forward to seeing the finished project along with the residents of Toxteth and everyone who will be using this innovative link to Liverpool City Centre.


Scolmore provides smart solution for Housing Association’s homes upgrade The Scottish government is leading the way when it comes to fire safety, with wide ranging proposals calling for consistent, high levels of smoke, heat and CO alarm provision to be applied to all types of housing. In essence the minimum safety standards currently in place for private rented properties (and under Building Regulations) will be extended to all other tenures including social housing and even existing owner-occupied homes. Effectively, this means the ‘Category LD2’ level of protection including smoke alarms in principal living rooms and heat alarms in kitchens, in addition to smoke alarms in circulation area on each storey. In addition a CO alarm will need to be fitted where there is a carbon-fuelled heating appliance (such as boilers, fires, heaters and stoves) or a flue passes through the room.

Conversion Pack, as well as USB sockets, light switches and pendants from the Click Mode wiring accessories range.

With these minimum standards now extended to all Scottish homes, and compliance required by February 2021, work is underway to plan the necessary upgrades and source the right products at the right price to meet this new legislation.

It eliminates the need for time-consuming and costly channelling and potential lifting of floorboards for access and then the necessary effort to restore everything back to normal.

Responsible for over 5,000 properties across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, and also responsible for managing a further 600 rental properties through Lowther Homes, its sister organisation, Dunedin Canmore Housing Association has a 5 year investment plan in place to improve, repair and upgrade its tenants’ homes. As part of this upgrade, they will be installing over 300 kitchens, and 200 bathrooms per year and undertaking LD2 smoke detection upgrades to 100% of its properties over 12 month period. Scolmore were appointed following a competitive tendering exercise to provide a range of products including the new Click Smart Switch Supply to Permanent

The rolling programme to upgrade the properties will see the installation of Click Smart conversion kits where required to save major intrusive works. This will allow speedy and damage-free installation of smoke detectors to the new LD2 standard within dwellings. The conversion kits provide a retrofit smart solution to allow independent control of the lighting circuit, whilst still supplying a smoke detector with constant power.

Part of the Click Smart intelligent wiring accessories range, the Switch Supply to Permanent Conversion Pack is supplied in a handy boxed unit which contains all the components required - 1 x RFSAI-61B Switching Receiver, 1 x RFIM – 40B Battery Transmitter, 1 x CMA401 Unfurnished MiniGrid Plate, and 1 x MD004W 10x Retractive Module. David Baptie, Investment Manager with Dunedin Canmore, comments: “Using the conversion kits is allowing us to significantly improve the installation times and the efficiency of the installation teams, which in turn means improved cost savings for the project. The fact that they can be fitted with little or no mess or damage within dwellings adds

to the overall appeal and time saving factors. We can limit any disruption to our customers’ lives to an absolute minimum.” A key factor in the selection of the Mode range is the fact that it offers a 20-year no quibble warranty that provides Dunedin Canmore with confidence in the products that are being specified and installed. Continues David Baptie: “The range is offering a highly cost-efficient replacement solution for the upgrade work we are undertaking and offers a lot of great features. The new twin USB socket features 2 USB charging ports which

are both capable of delivering 5V 2.1A simultaneously - this allows for optimum charging of two devices at the same time and will be very popular with our customers. The products all carry the BSI Kitemark and have antimicrobial properties. All the switches are modular, which means it is easy to create dedicated or bespoke wiring solutions.” The upgrade work being undertaken by Dunedin Canmore is part of a £19.3 million spend by the company between now and 2023, to repair, improve and upgrade its tenants’ properties.

46 Bathrooms & Washrooms

LAUFEN CHOSEN FOR LUXURY DEVELOPMENT IN HISTORIC YORK Swiss bathroom manufacturer Laufen was chosen as the brand of choice for the luxury bathrooms in an exceptional new development of one of York’s famous landmarks. The Old Fire Station, located in York’s historic Clifford Street has recently undergone a dramatic transformation. Dating back to 1938, the fire station has been thoughtfully restored to retain its historic character while offering stylish contemporary living. Character restoration specialists, London Ebor Developments PLC redeveloped the spectacular site into 7 luxurious apartments and 7 deluxe town houses, to create a luxurious place to live, in the heart of the city, complete with high-specification interiors. Bathroom manufacturer Laufen was chosen to provide luxurious, contemporary sanitaryware for a range of family bathrooms, en-suites and cloakrooms within the building. London Ebor Developments selected Laufen for the project due to its reputation for exceptional quality products and expertise in the luxury residential market. Having worked with the brand previously, the developers knew Laufen’s products were the perfect fit for this unique project.

The carefully chosen products for the project were from a range of Laufen collections, each chosen specifically for the individual properties within the development. Laufen’s VAL basins and BASE vanity units were chosen for their exceptionally high quality and timeless, minimalist look, in the best Swiss design tradition. The VAL collection, designed by German designer Konstantin Grcic skilfully uses the creative possibilities of LAUFEN’s SaphirKeramik to its advantage, resulting in elegant and almost weightless pieces with simple lines and elegant yet extremely stable walls. Paired with Laufen’s efficient BASE vanity units, which provide easily accessible and tidy storage space, the duo is a practical statement piece that will withstand the test of time. In addition, Laufen’s more classically traditional collection, ‘Palace’ was selected for the WCs. Impressing with

its ergonomic design and concealed fixtures, the Palace WCs add a timeless classic touch, in keeping with the building’s history. Laufen’s iconic Kartell by Laufen collection was also used for various elements. The stylish collection’s chic basin and bath disc mixers with their colourful, changeable discs are perfect for holding bathroom toiletries or products. In addition, the solid surface Kartell by Laufen bath made from Sentec was specifically chosen for its durable, creative design to withstand the test of time. Laufen’s rain showerheads and MyCity handshowers were also installed for an opulent finishing touch at the highest standard for this prestigious development. These stunning new apartments and town houses are a cut above the rest with unrivalled views of York’s iconic Clifford’s Tower and southerly views across the River Ouse.

For more information on Laufen visit:

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48 Bathrooms & Washrooms

10th Birthday Celebrations for Award-Winning Bushboard Nuance

Bathrooms & Washrooms 49

Nuance Bushboard’s patented and award-winning bathroom wall panelling celebrated its tenth birthday during this years KBB, Birmingham. The Nuance range has changed the face of surfacing in bathrooms, washrooms and ensuites offering a striking, enduring, cost-effective and labour saving alternative to ceramic tiling. The Bushboard Nuance collection is unique for its post-formed, virtually seamless design that does not require unsightly edging strips. In essence, marble decors are book-matched to give a continuous and authentic look. Acrylic Nuance Real marble is a handsome stone but hard to work with. Nuance’s

realistic marble slab designs in the new acrylic collection, reflect the natural beauty of authentic marble without the timeconsuming cutting and installation problems. Cararra Marble Slab (pictured) offers book-matched panels which when side by side, like the pages of an open book, are mirror images. The contrasting veining linesup to create one stunning, unbroken pattern. This large-scale symmetrical look creates maximum visual impact without a high-end price or offsite cutting or the time or mess of ceramic tiling. There are three new marble designs within the acrylic collection plus enticingly exotic Moroccan prints and subtle

Hexagon Marble and Natural Finestra. Acrylic panels are just 4mm thick and have a sleek, reflective gloss finish, and like all Nuance panels, they are installed without joining strips or trims. Nuance Designer Collection The new Designer Collection will be a firm favourite for those who like the look of stripped brick and natural stone. There are eight designs in the range including washed brick, herringbone woods, fossil stone and washed timber. About Bushboard Nuance Nuance is a unique, patented, trim-free system. Manufactured in the UK, the large format panels have a post formed outer edge that means there is no need to use trims for finishing – giving a streamlined, sleek look that suits all sizes and styles of bathroom. The tongue and groove panels can be jointed using Nuance bespoke adhesive. This makes joints which are 100% watertight and virtually invisible to the eye. The new brochure is packed with design ideas on how to use the panels to create stunning and stylish bathrooms. Nuance bathroom panelling from Bushboard is the market-leading alternative to ceramic tiling for bathrooms. Available in a range of decors and textures, Nuance panels are post formed and 100% waterproof – there is no need for unsightly trims. As a result, the finished installation is often mistaken for real stone, marble or wood. Nuance features on ArtiCad and if installed using Bushboard’s own BB Complete superior adhesive is guaranteed for a full 15 years. Bushboard also offers a trial room service for qualifying customers. 01933 2322422

50 Bathrooms & Washrooms

VitrA Identifies Seven Bathroom Trends for 2020 Spring is just around the corner, so it’s prime time to focus on home improvements and with the bathroom being on the hit list for many VitrA has identified seven emerging trends for the roaring ‘20s. Margaret Talbot, marketing manager for VitrA, explains, “Making a trip to the bathroom must be an experience, whether that’s simply washing hands or having a long soak in the bath. Sustainability is moving up the hit list for consumers with wellness, luxury, designer trends remaining key for those looking to add tangible life enhancements and value to their homes.”

trend encourages reflectiveness, peace and socialisation. VitrA’s Plural collection, designed by Terri Pecora, makes the bathroom the heart of the home; based on creating warmth and domesticity, ideal for promoting wellness. Choosing a double basin over a single basin unit encourages the bathroom to become a social space where loved ones can spend more time together.



Wellness is a concept thoroughly embraced by consumers who enjoy taking on the role of interior designer. The bathroom is a perfect space to promote wellbeing and health. Inspired by organic shapes and warm colour palettes, the wellness

Homeowners are increasingly aware of their carbon footprint and becoming more environmentally conscious. Investing in sustainable bathroom ware is a great way to start making the home greener and conserve water. Sustainability is an

integral part of VitrA’s design process, with all products made in line with their Blue Life Pledge. VitrA’s innovative water- saving features, such as adjustable cartridges, limit the heat and flow from the tap and are available in a range of brassware styles and colours, for a sustainable, stylish bathroom. Biophilia With studies proving that nature reduces stress levels and boosts mood, indoor plants are returning to popularity, and a bathroom can be the perfect place to nurture all kinds of ferns, succulents, tropical and citrus plants.

Bathrooms & Washrooms 51

By introducing biophilic influences into the bathroom, such as wooden surfaces, natural shapes and moisture, heat and steam friendly plants, it’s easy to transform a bathroom into a tranquil space. With no restrictions on colour palette, biophilic design is easy to personalise and creates an ultra-modern aesthetic when paired with black or grey bathroom ware. Luxury/Spa Everyone loves a hotel or spa bathroom. Creating that look at home remains a key influence for today’s bathroom consumers. Designing a beautiful spa-like bathroom is a way to keep self-care as a top priority. Luxury fittings like rainfall showerheads, mood lighting and soft colour palettes can quickly transform a bathroom into a serene space that instantly relaxes. Picture: VitrA Origin shower head in Chrome £160 and Origin hand shower unit in Chrome £174 with Equal Washbasin Unit with Asymmetric Washbasin and Shelf in Patterned Black Oak £946. Technology As the digital home continues to evolve with more and more smart home systems, introducing technology into the bathroom can increase hygiene and efficiency. The VitrA Smart Panel’s sleek, glossy black design combines style with intelligence that does more than just flush. With the ability to sync to the user’s mobile (through the V-Care app), households can flush their WCs remotely and receive usage data which helps identify excessive water use. With settings such as a periodic flush that regularly washes out the bowl, its futuristic design is a must

for all modern bathroom design. The flush plate is compatible with VitrA concealed cisterns. Designer Luxury A designer name on homeware and art is always a talking point – and a trend adopted by boutique hotels and trendy Airbnbs when creating beautiful insta-ready bathrooms. Statement art, dark colour palettes, standout brassware and soft furnishings are a must for this trend with a free-standing bath being a key feature. Exclusively designed by Matteo Thun and Partners, the Water Jewels bathtub is a stylish take on the classic free-standing design. Contemporary in its structure, the single matt black panel curves around the bath exuding modernity, while its roll-top design retains a traditional

feel. Matched with statement gold brassware, time in the bathroom becomes an experience rather than a necessity. Country Chic Country chic has made a timely return in the early 2020s – timeless; the trend is an excellent investment for both modern and traditional homes. Country chic is all about vanity units, panelling and classic design; VitrA’s Valarte collection delivers character based on the popular shaker design with a modern twist. Available in Matt Ivory, Matt Grey and Matt White, it’s easy to personalise with bright brassware, traditional bathroom tiles or a monochrome palette for a more contemporary feel.

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